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December 01, 2016

Calculating the Eagles' chances of getting an upgraded draft pick in the Eric Rowe trade

Eagles NFL
120116EricRowe Bill Wippert/AP

Eric Rowe, AKA a fourth-round pick who could become a third-round pick.

Just before the start of the 2016 NFL season, the Philadelphia Eagles traded CB Eric Rowe to the New England Patriots for a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. That fourth-round pick will become a third-round pick if Rowe plays in at least 50 percent of the Patriots defensive snaps either in 2016 or 2017.

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During the first five games of the season, Rowe was a healthy inactive, and it didn't look at all like he would play 50 percent of the snaps. However, Rowe's playing time has increased as the season has progressed. Over the last two weeks, Rowe has played on all but two snaps:

Week Eric Rowe snaps Team defensive snaps Percentage
Week 1 0 61 0
Week 2 0 65 0
Week 3 0 71 0
Week 4 0 76 0
Week 5 0 63 0
Week 6 26 68 38
Week 7 73 73 100
Week 8 47 78 60
Week 10 0 70 0
Week 11 62 63 98
Week 12 56 57 98
 TOTAL264 745 35.4 

After 11 games, Rowe has played 35.4 percent of the Patriots' defensive snaps, so he certainly has some catching up to do for the Eagles to have a shot at that third-round pick.

On the season, the Patriots have averaged 67.7 defensive snaps per game. If that were to continue, they would have somewhere in the ballpark of 1084 snaps on the season. Rowe would of course have to play on 542 of those snaps for the Eagles to get their third-round pick. On the season, as the graph above shows, Rowe has played 264 snaps, meaning that he would have 278 to go, again, based on a projection of 67.7 defensive snaps per game.

On a 67.7-snap projection over the final five games, the Patriots will have played 339 defensive snaps. As noted above, Rowe would have to play 278 of those 339 snaps, or 82 percent.

Should Rowe's increased playing time continue, that is certainly not an unattainable figure. However, Bill Belichick isn't exactly stupid either.

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